Pence announces new appointments

Published: .
Updated: .

Gov.-elect Mike Pence and Lt. Gov.-elect Sue Ellspermann Thursday announced five more appointments to leadership positions within their administration.

Doug Carter, former sheriff of Hamilton County, has been named Superintendent of the Indiana State Police. He retired from the State Police as a trooper in 2002 after 18 years and served two terms as the Hamilton County sheriff. Under his leadership the Hamilton County Sheriff's office earned national accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation in Law Enforcement (CALEA), only the second sheriff's office in the state to do so. Carter also worked to reduce redundancy in public safety by coordinating and communicating with public safety agencies throughout central Indiana. Most recently, Carter worked in the private sector providing public safety solutions to municipalities throughout the State of Indiana.

Rob Carter will continue to serve as Director of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). He has held the top post at DNR since 2006. Rob Carter has been instrumental in speeding up DNR's environmental permitting process as well as leading efforts to expand Indiana's recreational trails and protect its river corridors and wetlands.

Jeff Cardwell will join the Pence Administration as the Executive Director of the Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI), a position that will be part of Gov.-elect Pence's Cabinet. Cardwell is an entrepreneur and business owner who launched the nonprofit People Helping People in 2001 to address issues of housing and hunger both locally and abroad.

Lt. Gov.-elect Ellspermann announced that Dax Norton will be heading up the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). Norton has eight years of experience in economic development and was a small business owner for eight years. He has been the executive director of the Boone County Economic Development Corporation since 2008 and previously led economic development for Blackford County and downtown Greensburg, Indiana.

Zac Jackson will be the majority Deputy Budget Director. Jackson has worked in the Indiana State Budget Agency for the past eight years as a budget analyst and as an assistant director over the Health and Human Services Division. He will assist OMB Director Chris Atkins who also will serve as Budget Director.

Pence also announced additional senior staff hires.

Ryan Streeter will join the policy team as Senior Economic Policy Director. Streeter is a Distinguished Fellow for Economic and Fiscal Policy at the Sagamore Institute and an adjunct professor at Indiana University's school of public policy. He served in the White House as a special assistant for domestic policy to George W. Bush.

Christy Denault has been named Communications Director. Denault most recently filled that role during Pence's gubernatorial campaign. She previously held communications positions at Bose Public Affairs Group and in Lt. Governor Becky Skillman's office.

Kara Brooks has been hired as Press Secretary and will serve as spokeswoman for the Governor's office. Brooks has 12 years of experience in broadcast media and has worked for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works since 2010.

Earlier appointments

John Hill has been named Executive Director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. In 2006, Hill was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) after previously serving the FMCSA as Chief Safety Officer and Assistant Administrator. In this role, Hill was involved in terrorism and hurricane response and emergency preparedness planning for natural disasters. Prior to his work on a national level, Hill served as a member of the Indiana State Police from 1974-2003, providing expertise as Commander of the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, Field Enforcement and Logistics Divisions. Hill is a graduate of Taylor University and resides in Greenwood.

Appointed Adjutant General in 2004, Major General R. Martin Umbarger will continue in this capacity in the Pence Administration. As Adjutant General, he oversees the fourth largest Army National Guard in the country, leading soldiers, airmen, and employees of the State - over 15,000 Hoosiers in total. Maj. Gen. Umbarger has an extensive background with the Indiana Army National Guard dating back to 1969, when he began his career as an enlisted soldier. He currently serves on the Secretary of Defense's Reserve Forces Policy Board and previously served as a member of the Secretary of the Army's Reserve Forces Policy Committee. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Evansville and currently lives in Bargersville in Johnson County with his wife Rowana. They have three children and six grandchildren.

Michael B. Cline will remain as Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation within the Pence Administration. Originally appointed in 2010, Cline oversees all aspects of INDOT, from the more than 3,600 employees to the state's highway system. Prior to beginning his service at INDOT in 2006, Cline worked for 18 years in the surface transportation industry, earning experience in management and engineering in both the private and public sectors. Cline is a graduate of Purdue University and resides in Indianapolis.

Virgil Madden has been named Executive Director of the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (IPLA). Madden, of Indianapolis, currently serves as Senior Policy Advisor to Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman. Previously, Madden spent time as Director of Government Research at SRI, Inc. and also worked for the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute as a director, the Marion County Municipal and Superior Courts, Indianapolis Public Schools and the Indiana Supreme Court. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Butler University.

Mark Newman will serve as Executive Director of the Indiana Office of Tourism Development following his term as Interim Executive Director, which began in early August. Newman previously served as vice president of marketing and communications for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and, prior to this role, served as chief operating officer of Indiana Sports Corp. Newman also has experience working for both the Atlanta Olympic Games and World Cup USA. Residing in Indianapolis, Newman holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts and a master's from the University of Virginia.

Continuing his service to the state, Jacob Sipe will serve as Executive Director of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA). Sipe has served as Interim Executive Director, Chief Real Estate Development Officer and Director of Community Services since July and previously held roles within IHCDA since 1999. Prior to his work in state government, Sipe served as a loan officer at the First National Bank of Cloverdale. He is a graduate of Indiana University and resides in Greenwood.

Brenda Gerber will serve as Chief of Staff to First Lady Karen Pence. She most recently served as Deputy Finance Director for Mike Pence for Indiana. Originally from Fort Wayne, Gerber previously served as Finance Director to the Paula Hughes for Mayor campaign and is also a co-founder of the Carriage House. Gerber is a graduate of Indiana University and currently resides in Carmel.